McCain: Drilling Is the Cure for What Ails U.S.

The Gas Tax Holiday may have petered out, but John McCain still has a lot of petroleum-based populism left in the tank. His latest campaign ad, "Pump," primes the audience with a little wishful thinking.

"Gas prices — $4, $5, no end in sight," a voice intones, "because some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America. No to independence from foreign oil. Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?" An image of Obama floats across the screen in response, as a crowd chants his name.

While it’s easy to refute the "Drill Now!" argument, even on strictly economic terms, the There Will Be Blood contingent figures to be quite sizable this election season. Ersatz moderate David Brooks, for one, seems impressed by McCain’s energy platform, which he praised in a column last week:

The high point of his campaign, so far, has been his energy policy, which is comprehensive and bold, but does not try to turn us into a nation of bicyclists. It does not view America’s energy-intense economy as a sign of sinfulness.

Sinfulness? Forget moral judgments. An honest policy assessment would recognize that a less "energy-intense" transportation infrastructure will go a long way toward reducing the economic pain of "rising prices at the pump."

  • Steve

    Wow. I avoid Brooks like the plague as he is an incoherent dope who just makes shit up in the service of his “opinions”, but that “sinfulness” line takes the cake.

    BTW, kudos to a reader and bike commuter in evil Dallas, TX.

  • Those commercials made me angry. It’s neither McCain or Obama’s fault that energy prices are where they are. I think it’s great that McCain wants to invest in alternative energy much more than Bush ever did and while drilling won’t help our energy situation (unless too much capital is wasted on it) it won’t hurt it either–the environment is another issue.

    And I can’t fathom why people think going on bikes is backwards. Walking isn’t backwards, why would biking be? People still don’t get that often biking is less effort, cheaper, healthier, and more enjoyable. I don’t think every need to bike on their trips from NYC to DC, but on your 2 mile ride which would take you twice as long to drive or walk you should use the best option–a bike. Preaching to the choir, I know, but it’s frustrating.

  • Fritz I agree. The bike allows a person to use 1/3 the energy to travel the same given distance compared to walking or carrying something – and that is when pedaling. The other benefit is that when you stop doing work (pedaling) you keep moving at the same speed – which degrades only with air drag and rolling resistance – which are extremely low. Since all work is done in a circular motion, the body works at it’s own maximum efficiency with the minimum impact possible. Also, when cargo is stacked on the bike, you no longer have to fight it’s gravity except to the degree that the road is not level – always more efficient than carrying by hand. The bike is simply a tool to increase the efficiency of the human body. How exactly will that ever be backwards? It seems to me that doing a job with the least amount of energy necessary would be the most sensible option – and so far the bike still holds that title.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Billionaire Oil Driller Serving as Romney Energy Advisor

|
When it comes to transportation and energy policy, it’s tough to tell exactly where Mitt Romney stands, but there’s a lot to be learned by watching whom he’s keeping close. Yesterday we covered how his VP choice, Paul Ryan, looks to be a policy disaster for sustainable transportation. Ryan indicated in his attention-grabbing but largely […]

Obama Counters Gas Price Demagoguery With Commitment to Fracking

|
It’s been almost a year since the Obama administration released its Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, but more importantly, it’s been two weeks since Energy Secretary Steven Chu got chewed out for not caring enough about lowering gas prices. And Newt Gingrich, whose presidential campaign is slipping into irrelevancy, can still do some political […]

Energy Policy Straight Talk From Elizabeth Kolbert

|
Back in his Straight Talkin’ days Senator John McCain acknowledged that offshore drilling wasn’t a viable solution for America’s energy troubles. In 2003, he broke with the Bush Administration and co-introduced legislation to reduce carbon emissions, by, in effect, imposing a price on them. McCain had a reputation for being a politician who told the […]

What Went Unsaid at Last Night’s Debate

|
At last night’s presidential debate in Nassau County, the best opening for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to talk about transportation policy came when undecided voter Phillip Tricolla asked the following question of the President: QUESTION: Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it’s not policy of his department […]